The Palestinian Hamas terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip has reportedly accepted, in principle, an Egyptian and United Nations initiative for a long-term ceasefire with Israel. According to some reports, the initiative calls for a ceasefire of five to ten years in return for the easing of economic sanctions and humanitarian and economic aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
This ceasefire initiative is rather disturbing: it requires no meaningful concessions on the part of Hamas. It leaves, for example, wholly intact Hamas’s extremist ideology, which calls for the destruction of Israel, and does not demand that Hamas lay down its weapons.
Essentially, the message to Hamas from the international community is that it will reap rich rewards for nothing more than temporarily halting its terror attacks on Israel.
As the past few weeks have shown, Hamas appears to be more than willing to sit quietly in order to get the benefits and privileges offered by Egypt and the UN. Hamas has been facing a severe crisis as the result of the economic sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip, particularly those initiated by its rivals in the Palestinian Authority government of President Mahmoud Abbas. Thus, Hamas is grabbing hold of the Egyptian and UN proposal as a kind of life-vest.
Once the ceasefire agreement goes into effect, Hamas will have additional time to continue amassing weapons and tightening its grip on the Gaza Strip.
Under the umbrella of the ceasefire, Hamas will be able to continue building new tunnels that will be used to infiltrate Israel to kill civilians and soldiers. Hamas will also be able to continue smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip through tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Thanks to the Egyptian and UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, Hamas will be able to do all these things without having to worry about an Israeli military response.